Press Release
January 15, 2011

Results of climate studies prompt immediate action - Legarda

Citing reports from recent studies on climate change, Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, today said that the whole nation should waste no time and must work together to immediately establish the necessary mechanisms that would ward off the ill effects of global warming.

According to reports from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the global average surface temperature for 2010, which is 14 degrees Celsius (57 Fahrenheit), is the same with the record set in 2005. Furthermore, 2010 was also the wettest year on record.

Legarda said that with scientific certainty, the warming global climate is a threat to agriculture and food security to countries with populations heavily relying on the sector.

From 1970 to 1990, typhoons, floods and droughts resulted in an 82.4% loss to total Philippine rice production. When tropical cyclones Ondoy, Pepeng and Santi hit the country in 2009, the agriculture sector alone lost Php29.38 billion covering 30 provinces in 7 regions.

"As we continue to face weather in extremes, public health, energy, water security, our biodiversity, and economic growth are also under grave threat. Most at risk are lives that we cannot put a price on," Legarda said.

"With all this in mind, we cannot afford to wait for the next screaming headline about death and destruction from typhoons, floods or drought before we take concrete actions. It is critical that the increased attention, interest, and sense of urgency in responding to the challenges posed by climate change and disaster risks are translated to local actions that effectively reduce disaster vulnerability," she further explained.

The Senator stressed the need to make communities safer, more resilient, and even more ready to act when disaster strikes.

"We must build homes for the homeless, but we need to make sure they are built in areas that will ensure safety and security to home owners even in times of disasters. We must construct roads and bridges to facilitate movements of goods and services; but in building them, we will make sure they do not facilitate the demise of lives. We must not train our sights merely on enhancing our capacities to re-build in times of disasters; but rather on reducing risks for our people and building lasting communities," she concluded.

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